What better place to stay if you’re eagerly awaiting the coronation. For Hotel 41 is right opposite Buckingham Palace and beside the Royal Mews where the horses and occasional carriage come and go between dawn and dusk. Try and catch sight of them if you’re lucky. The hotel is in Victoria which has trains running directly to Gatwick Airport and where the musical Hamilton is being performed around the corner. Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament are only a short walk away.

Hotel 41 Lobby
Lobby. Courtesy of Hotel 41

It has its own unassuming entrance into a small reception. It is discreet but stylish, and I already sensed the exclusivity. For Hotel 41 is part of the Red Carnation Collection, a flower charmingly worn in the lapels of all the staff. It’s the epitome of a cozy, welcoming, and luxurious boutique hotel.

It all takes place on the fifth floor of this elegant Georgian building and the rooms form an 8-shaped composition. The former ballroom, now the “Executive Lounge”, is the main focal point. It’s where I checked in, where I was greeted with complimentary champagne on arrival, and where I read the papers. It’s also where I had breakfast and where I sunk into my indulgently high-backed leather chair by the fire. Such is the versatility of this glorious space under its conservatory-like skylight. Beneath two gilded chandeliers, there is a circular centerpiece with seats the whole way around. Above are globes giving it a travelers’ dimension, shelves lined with books for the connoisseur, and magazines aplenty. Marble shines through the statue of Napoleon and the decorative orbs. There’s a raised level with telescopes and computers. Next door is a board room-cum-cinema with popcorn at the ready. Every detail is taken care of. All are thoroughly thought through. It’s multi-purpose this library-cum-study-cum-lounge. It’s a stage that is used for its variety of needs. The day transforms in line with the offerings from the 24-hour honesty bar and the “Plunder the Pantry” treats. For the afternoon brings with it scones with cream and jam and later there are hot and cold canapés such as Thai beef salad and cheese croquettes.

Hotel 41 Exterior
Courtesy of Hotel 41

The corridors felt like Alice in Wonderland with its nooks and crannies and the odd miniature doorway. They felt harmonious in color and tone. They have the owner and founder Bea Tollman’s trademark wallpaper with textures, wall coverings with fabric, and carpets with patterns. These are glorified by cartoons by Georges Goursat, known as Sem. He was a Frenchman who captured wonderfully the different departments of English gentlemen: be it with their whimsical beards and whiskers, their postures and expressions.

Hotel 41 Conservatory Suite evening
Conservatory Suite. Courtesy of Hotel 41

And so confident and bold is the décor of the 28 bedrooms (with their starting price from $560 per night). It’s an exercise in how to do black and white by mixing textures, patterns, and outlines and by giving depth and variety. The carpets are chequered, and there are different scales and dimensions of this black-and-white theme. All finished to a luxurious and inspiring degree and offset by touches of gold and mahogany furniture. The fabrics are finished in pleats and edges and the black marble includes white specks. The linen on the Savoir beds is of the highest quality. The toiletries in my marble-floored bathroom are Floris products.

The turndown service was telepathic as my specs suddenly were given their own cloth, my pillow its lavender scent and my sheets a black and white hot water bottle. There are plates of chocolate-coated strawberries and fresh fruit. It’s all very caring and thoughtful.

Hotel 41 Lounge private dining
Hotel 41 Lounge private dining. Courtesy of Hotel 41

A private elevator took me downstairs to dine at the Curry Room at 41’s sister property, The Rubens at the Palace hotel. What a hidden gem it is. In this warm, dark, and cozy room of ten tables, this tastefully and traditionally furnished Indian restaurant had semi-circular banquettes in front of cabinets full of books. What a delicious dinner it was as all the spices fought for permanence in my taste buds. Each course was paired with wines from the Bouchard Finlayson which come from Red Carnation’s vineyard in South Africa.

Hotel 41 drinks trolley
Drinks trolley. Courtesy of Hotel 41

There’s even a private area where yoga is offered and from which you can peep over the walls across the road into King Charles’s garden at Buckingham Palace. It’s like a private viewing, certainly, it adds a new dimension. Indeed here at Hotel 41 they really go the extra mile which is what gives it its own 5-star dimension.